These past two days I have returned to last Sunday’s Gospel and try to listen. As often in prayer, I do not “hear” anything. Just waiting; honestly, I am often distracted; it seems to be a “waste of time.” But today, something noticeable happened. I was led to imagine the child (as a boy) whom Jesus embraced and placed in center of everyone. I began to see, hear, and feel through the boy’s senses. What I experienced surprised and unarmed me. He saw Jesus looking and relating to him with so much tenderness, love, and unconditional acceptance. For the first time in his life, he felt what Jesus experienced at his baptism – God’s voice whispering: "You are my beloved Son; with you I am well pleased." (Mk 1:11). Embracing this truth, he burst into joyful tears and exclaimed, “I am Your Delight!”
Emboldened by his courage, I found myself embracing a similar truth about myself: “I am Your Delight!” Every time I allow the mystery of God’s love to touch me, I am transformed. I began to cry profusely, tears of joy. In my frailties, fears, hang-ups, past mistakes, present pains, God takes delight in me. With my flare ups of perfectionism, untamed passion, selfish desires, impatient gratifications, lazy contentment, God takes delight in me. Through so many people (listed in my prayer locket) I am blessed to encounter, God takes delight in me. To delight is more than just to put up with; it is to experience joy in the person’s presence. I am humbled by such love, tình Chúa qua tình người, God’s love beyond human love.
Eden means "delight" in Hebrew. In my prayer, the boy and I looked at one another and smiled. A glimpse of paradise, we nodded. The bedrock of our beings, before and beyond what we can, cannot, or fail to do. My day is no longer the same, what I see and how I feel take on a meaning and depth that only grace can give.
My friend, allow yourself the quiet and the space so that God can take delight in you, to experience yourself as God’s Eden. Listen to Switchfoot’s song “Let that Be Enough.” Let it be a good prayer-trigger for you. Imagine. What if we looked at one another, especially at our children, with such delight!